Induction of French Rafale Aircraft in IAF The first of five Rafale jets out of 36 comprising these single-seater and town twin-seater aircraft inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) at the Amabala Airbase in Haryana.
The aircraft covered a distance of nearly 7000 km from France to India with Mid air refueling and a single stop a French airbase in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
The Rafales will be part of the IAF’s No. 17 squadron, which is also known as the Golden arrows.
The aircrew brings the Rafales to India is headed by Group Captain Harkirat Singh , a decorated fighter pilot, who is the commanding officer of the No.17 squadron.
All the 36 jets will be delivered to India by the end of 2021.
The Rafale (meaning’ Gust of Wind’ and Burst of Fire) is a twin-engine, canard delta wing multi-role fighter aircraft designed and built by French aircraft manufacture, Dassault Aviation.
Specifications of RafaleThe Rafale fighter jets are being produced for both the French Air Force and for Carrier-based operations in the French Navy.
Rafale can attain a maximum speed of Mach 1.8/750 Kt (2222.6 km per hour and can climb up to 50000 ft.
Though Rafale can fly up to a range of 3700 km, it can be refueled mid-air.
The 15.27 meter long aircraft has wing length of 10.8 meters each.
While Sukhoi 30 MKI can carry ammunition up to 8000 kg, Rafale can easily carry bombs up to 9500 kg.
Rafale can carry out all combat aviation missions, including air defence, close air support in depth strikes, reconnaissance, anti ship strikes and nuclear deterrence.
Significance for India India s the fourth country to fly the Rafale after France, Egypt and Qatar.
Rafale aircraft’s are capable of operating in both lands from aircraft carriers. Their long-range of operation and stealth capabilities will operation and stealth capabilities will allow deep attack into enemy territory.
It will significantly bolster India’s air combat capabilities especially when it will face hostile neighbours like Pakistan and China.
The Rafale Aircraft will also give India a superior Nuclear Strike capability and add to the existing nuclear strike capability of Sukhoi Su-30 and Mirage- 2000.
Timeline of the Deal with UPA government2007 the UPA government release tenders for 126 fighters, based on the demand by the Indian Air Force.
January 2012 French company, Dassault Aviation makes the lowest bids for their aircraft Rafale.
June 2015, Defence Ministry officially withdraws the 126 aircraft deal tender.
April 2015, Prime Minister of India visits Paris and announces the decision to buy 36 Rafale fighters.
January 2016, India and France sign MoU for 36 Rafale Aircraft.
September, 2016 India had sealed the Rs. 59000-crore deal to procure 36 Rafale jets from French Aerospace major Dassault arguments.
November, 2018, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi reserves verdict in the Rafale case after extensive augments.
October, 2019, India receives first Rafale jet in a ceremony in France attended by the Indian deference Minister Rajnath Singh.
November, 2019, Supreme Court dismissed a batch of review petitions on Rafale jet deals.